OIA response: Ritalin

Funding of methylphenidate or similar stimulant medications, for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

19 June 2020

[name and contact details redacted]

Dear [name redacted] 

REQUEST FOR INFORMATION 

Thank you for your email of 27 May 2020, requesting information about the funding of methylphenidate or similar stimulant medications, for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  Your request has been considered under the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA). 

PHARMAC’s role within the New Zealand health system is to make decisions about which medicines and medical devices are funded or subsidised by the New Zealand government.  Another government agency, Medsafe (a business unit of the Ministry of Health), decides which pharmaceuticals are approved for use by people in New Zealand.

Methylphenidate, the active ingredient in Ritalin, is a Class B controlled drug with prescribing restrictions under regulation 22 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 1977.  Details of the prescribing restrictions are provided on Medsafe’s website at:

www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/riss/restrict.asp(external link) 

The number of patients prescribed methylphenidate hydrochloride is provided below.

Year Dispensed

Chemical Name

Gross Cost ($)

Number of patients

2015

Methylphenidate hydrochloride

1,444,413.34

16,515

 

Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended release

4,398,456.64

2016

Methylphenidate hydrochloride

1,554,784.92

18,173

 

Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release

4,918,076.10

2017

Methylphenidate hydrochloride

1,721,318.65

20,045

 

Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release

5,393,539.25

2018

Methylphenidate hydrochloride

1,876,455.86

22,446

 

Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release

5,914,773.87

2019

Methylphenidate hydrochloride

2,025,832.08

25,181

 

Methylphenidate hydrochloride extended-release

6,544,864.14

Yours sincerely

Rachel Read
Manager, Policy and Government Services